Green Tips

Do your part, and do it every day. Remember, the accumulation of a lot of little things isn’t little.
We can all leave a lighter environmental footprint through our everyday actions. Taken directly from the back of the Positively Green cards, here are 48 simple ways you can help the environment.

Tip #1: When you’re in the market for a new computer, consider a laptop. It saves space, goes anywhere and uses five times less energy than desktop models.

Tip #9: Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket and you’ll eliminate 1,000 lbs. of CO2 a year. Eliminate another 550 lbs. by lowering the thermostat to 120ºF.

Tip #2: Instead of sending old rugs to the landfill, check with local animal shelters to see if they can use them. Old towels, blankets and sheets are also appreciated.

Tip #10: During sunny months use a clothesline. Line-drying makes your clothes smell fresh and clean, and can prevent 600 lbs. of CO2 over six months.

Tip #3: Buy shade grown coffee. It’s grown naturally right under the rain forest canopy, preserving forests from clear-cutting and leaving more trees to absorb CO2 .

Tip #11: Unplug all electronic devices when not in use. If you don’t unplug them from the wall socket, they will continue using energy even when switched off.

Tip #4: Start a program where you buy in bulk and share the extras with friends and family. All participants will save money, and reduce packaging and gas costs.

Tip #12: Use power strips to conserve. One flick of the switch cuts off energy to several different electronic devices—as if they were all unplugged at once.

Tip #5: Take your own reusable coffee mug each time you go get coffee. Think of all the paper cups you’ll prevent from ending up in landfills.

Tip #13: Buy recycled products. By buying recycled, you’ll consume 55% less energy for paper products, 33% less energy for glass and 90% less energy for aluminum.

Tip #6: The power of one: If every U.S. home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star bulb, we’d save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year.

Tip #14: Can you figure out how to drive just 10 fewer miles per week this year? If so you’ll personally prevent 500 lbs. of CO2 from polluting the atmosphere.

Tip #7: Heroes wanted! Volunteer for a local conservation organization. Volunteers really do make a difference. The place you are in needs you today.

Tip #15: Use a push mower to cut your lawn. Some old two-stroke gas mowers spew as much pollutants as 40 cars. A push mower is clean and helps keep you in shape.

Tip #8: Washing clothes in cold water eliminates 2 lbs. of CO2 per load. Also, wash clothes less frequently—only when they really need it.

Tip #16: Give your car a tune-up. It improves mileage and reduces wear and pollution. Every 100,000 people who get a tune-up this year will eliminated 60 tons of CO2 .

Green Tips

Tip #25: Reuse cloth grocery bags. Over 500 billion petroleum-based plastic bags threaten wildlife, waste energy, pollute oceans, and clog our landfills each year.

Tip #26: Ninety billion pieces of junk mail are delivered each year in the U.S alone. You can go online now and quickly remove your name from nearly all junk mail lists.

Tip #17: Put green plants in your office. Plants cheer the place up, improve air quality, absorb toxic gasses from office equipment and maintain humidity.

Tip #27: Save energy and increase the life of your computer by putting it to sleep during the day instead of using screensavers. At night turn it off completely.

Tip #18: Landscape with native plants. Native plants typically cost less, use less water, and are easier to care for. Plus, your yard will look right at home.

Tip #28: Did you boil some corn in a pot, or wash ome fruit in a bowl? Instead of pouring leftover water down the drain, keep it in a watering can for later use on plants.

Tip #19: Buy a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature while you’re at work. A two degree adjustment can prevent a ton of CO2 a year.

Tip #29: Plant shade trees for your house. They will help keep your home cool in the hot weather, absorb CO2 , look beautiful and invite birds and other wildlife.

Tip #20: Paying bills online saves time, postage and trees. If everyone switches to online banking, we’ll cut 1.6 billion tons of waste and 2.1 million tons of CO2 a year.

Tip #30: Drive green. Save 55 gallons of gas a year and prevent 1,200 lbs. of CO2 by maintaining a steady driving pace and choosing routes with the least idling.

Tip #21: Install rain barrels to collect rainwater from your roof and awnings. Use the rainwater for your garden. Plants love it and you’ll conserve water.

Tip #31: Flying cross-country produces almost a ton of CO2 emissions per passenger. Instead of flying to your next meeting, participate by teleconference or e-mail.

Tip #22: Wash your car at a commercial car wash instead of at home. A modern car wash reuses water and prevents oil and road grime from entering drainage systems.

Tip #32: Buying Energy Star-certified appliances saves you money, conserves water and energy, and eliminates large amounts of greenhouse gases and pollutants.

Tip #23: For household cleaning, use vinegar, baking soda and biodegradable soap products. They work fine and keep chemicals out of the water supply.

Tip #33: Recycle! If every U.S. citizen recycles half of their annual waste, we’ll recycle a 280-million ton mountain of trash—the equivalent of 550 Empire State buildings.

Tip #24: Don’t let your car idle. If stuck in traffic or the drive-thru lane, turn off your engine. Idling cars spew much of the 1.7 billion tons of annual auto emissions.

Tip #34: Install ceiling fans to keep you cool in the summer. When winter rolls around, run the fans in reverse to push warm air down and conserve heat.

Green Tips

Tip #43: Replace your old toilet with a low-flow version. This conserves 23,000 gallons per year—the equivalent of three swimming pools—for a 4-person household.

Tip #44: Use reusable containers to pack your lunch. Reusable containers keep disposable plastic bags and packaging out of our landfills, oceans and animal habitats. Tip #35: Millions and millions of plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year. Break the habit by switching to filtered tap water and a re-usable container.

Tip #36: Switching to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) eliminates 300 lbs. of CO2 a year. If everyone switches to CFLs, that’s like eliminating 7 million cars from the road.

Tip #45: “Green power” is renewable and comes from non-polluting sources such as wind and solar. Check with your utility company to explore your options for signing on.

Tip #37: Hand wash your dishes. An automatic dishwasher pollutes at the rate of 175 lbs. of CO2 a year. When you do use a dishwasher, air-dry rather than heat-dry.

Tip #46: Invest 2-3 hours to caulk or weather-strip the leaks around your windows and doors. With $25 in materials you can save $600 in heating costs over four years.

Tip #38: Plant lots of trees. Every tree you plant absorbs one ton of CO2 and becomes a life-affirming gift to the birds, your home and your community.

Tip #47: Your vote counts! We really can save our lakes, rivers, oceans, forests and skies—but only if individuals and government work together. Vote wisely every time.

Tip #39: Properly inflated tires roll easier, last longer, reduce engine wear, improve gas mileage and prevent 250 lbs. of CO2 a year from polluting the atmosphere.

Tip #48: Support “green” companies. Look for and purchase from companies that are striving to create environmentally-friendly products and services.

Tip #40: Use 100% post-consumer copy paper. It saves five pounds of CO2 per ream. A ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees—and those trees absorb 60 lbs. of CO2 a year.

Tip #41: Support your local farmer by buying locally grown fruits and vegetables. This eliminates fuel emissions caused by long-haul produce trucks, trains or planes.

Tip #42: Cuddle up this winter. You can eliminate up to 1,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions this year by simply putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat.